A greyscale palette of two materials - the washed granolithic plaster juxtaposed with brushed stainless steel, form a unique monochrome space for this two-story menswear boutique.
Washed granolithic plaster has a different name - Shanghai plaster, which has been most commonly used as exterior façade finish for the art deco buildings in Shanghai back to the 1920s, a material which are granitic stones mix the cement to form a gentle and rough texture.
Reusing this once-popular yet forgotten material, the architects sought to evoke memories of the most dynamic and creative era and city to convey a more "local" sense of the street. This was in response to the owners’ request to feature domestic fashion brands in this 400sqm space and to promote local young designers.
The architect put a lightweight inner shell made of shanghai plaster and perforated stainless steel into the original building, enclosed a mysterious inner field.
The sun shines through the perforated stainless steel, projected oblong spots onto the fine-grained ground. The center of ground floor is recessed by three steps to form a sunken plaza to loosely divide the display area and the activity area. The slab above the square was cut away to form a double-height space, and the original beams were exposed and became a cross in the opening.
The horizontal linear lighting hanging on the ceiling of the ground floor turns up and vertically across the opening which visually connects two layers. The glass corridor on the upper floor crossed over the opening.
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